By Shirley Gould
In a valiant quest to describe human emotions in our prose, we as writers scan lists of nouns and adjectives in an attempt to make them real to our readers. It is a tedious and time consuming process.
Gleaning from my personal journey, emotions experienced in our lives evoke the most vivid descriptions possible…if we journal them and release those feelings on the printed page. Every family rides a roller-coaster of experiences life brings their way.
With the recent loss of my husband, the immediate response was shock, then dis-belief, followed by the devastating reality of loss. Because we had an amazing relationship of love and companionship, the intense grief was painful, causing excruciating emotional despair.
The process of planning the funeral to honor the life he had lived, took me on a painful walk down memory lane that magnified the void he was leaving in my life. Looking back, I recognized how blessed I’d been to be married to a man of God, a missionary, a soul winner, a valiant warrior of the Cross.
His family and friends experienced a gamut of emotions throughout the days following his sudden death. Journaling those feelings has provided vivid pictures and conversations expressing those deep heart-felt emotions.
Though grief lingers on the edge of our thoughts, life has continued. When my daughter announced she was having a baby, we were ecstatic. For a new smile to enter our lives felt like a gift from the Lord. Those feelings are easy to put into words.
But for my other daughter who had lost four babies through miscarriage, her joy was dampened. She and her husband were happy for the addition to the family, but struggled with questions of ‘why?’ But, months later, when she discovered she was also expecting a baby, the joyous exuberating sky-rocketed.
Now, baby smiles bring another set of emotions to be cherished and shared. There are new memories to be made, pictures to be taken. Family traits are carried on in the lives of our grandchildren. In the smile of our eight year old grandson, I see my husband. In the compassion and caring of our granddaughter, I feel the love and compassion she is carrying into this world, mirroring the heart of her grandfather. History is repeating itself.
As Christian fiction writers, we have the opportunity to share how the Lord carries us through the different trials of our lives. We can show how He cares about the details of our existence. We offer hope for changes in situations, a divine solution to their struggles. It is the highest of callings.
Through the valley and mountain top experiences of our lives, we as writers can capture the events, journaling them for use in our prose. Sharing this heart felt array of descriptions will grab our readers and keep them turning pages. Isn’t that our goal?
Shirley Gould is an inspirational speaker for churches, women’s conferences, an African missionary, and a freelance journalist. She is founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children in Kenya, East Africa. She makes her home in the Nashville, Tennessee area, enjoying her three daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren, Madison, Jake and newborn Finley Grace…and a really loud parrot.